20th Fox To Film ‘The Crucible’

Twentieth Century Fox has optioned motion picture rights to “The Crucible,” Arthur Miller’s drama of the 17th century Salem witch trials, which the playwright will adapt himself.

The playwright’s son, Bob Miller, is producing the film and has had discussions with British actor-director Kenneth Branagh about helming the project. Bob Miller, who will be making his film producing debut with “The Crucible,” helped set up the project at Fox.

“The Crucible,” if it comes to fruition, would be Arthur Miller’s third produced screenplay. He penned the 1961 John Huston-directed drama “The Misfits” and Orion’s 1990 Karel Reisz-helmed “Everybody Wins.”

Written in 1953, “The Crucible” is set in Salem in 1692 during a witch hunt and draws parallels to the “witch hunt” in the 1950s led by Sen. Joseph McCarthy to expose communist sympathizers in the U.S.

“The Crucible” was originally adapted for the bigscreen in 1957 by Jean-Paul Sartre as a French- East German production directed by Raymond Rouleau and starring Simone Signoret and Yves Montand. (The pic also was known as “The Witches Of Salem.”)

The work also was made for CBS-TV in 1967 starring George C. Scott, Melvyn Douglas and Colleen Dewhurst; Alex Segal directed and David Susskind produced from Miller’s teleplay.

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